QAnon  UP231

QAnon or simply Q, is a discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satanic, cannibalistic pedophiles run a global child sex trafficking ring and conspired against former President Donald Trump during his term in office.

QAnon commonly asserts that Trump has been planning a day of reckoning known as the "Storm" when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested.

Although preceded by similar viral conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, which has since become part of QAnon, the conspiracy theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard website 4chan, by "Q" (or "QAnon"), who was presumably an American individual; it is now more likely that "Q" has become a group of people acting under the same name. Although American in origin, there is now a considerable QAnon movement outside of the United States, including in the United Kingdom and France since 2020, with a "particularly strong and growing" movement in Germany and Japan. Japanese QAnon adherents are also known as "JAnon" (Japanese: Jアノン).

The number of QAnon adherents is unclear, but the group maintains a large online following. The imageboard website 8chan, rebranded to 8kun in 2019, is QAnon's online home, as it is the only place Q posts messages. In June 2020, Q exhorted followers in a post on 8chan to take a "digital soldiers oath"; many did, using the Twitter hashtag #TakeTheOath. In July 2020, Twitter banned thousands of QAnon-affiliated accounts and changed its algorithms to reduce the conspiracy theory's spread. A Facebook internal analysis reported in August 2020 found millions of followers across thousands of groups and pages; Facebook acted later that month to remove and restrict QAnon activity, and in October it said it would ban the conspiracy theory from its platform altogether. Followers had also migrated to dedicated message boards including EndChan, where they organized to wage information warfare in an attempt to influence the 2020 United States presidential election.